Weather is our constant companion, and when it behaves like a benevolent parent we pay little attention to it. Angry or out of control it becomes terrifying and can change the landscape as well as lives
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Tales by Jackie
What if? Erica’s world didn’t come to an end in 2012 while she was in middle school? She manages to make it through college before an apocalyptic event changes her life forever. The science fiction story Terra Beyond 2012 shares Erica’s voyage.
What if? You and your best friend were traveling down the highway on the way home from an extended trip when you are caught in a blinding thunderstorm, and then are hit by lightning? To make matters worse you are injured, and wake in a strange world. Find out what happens to Chris in the tale Riding Lightning.
What if? You were on your way to meet a friend for dinner and caught in a flash flood? That is exactly what happens to Alexandra in the story Flashflood Texas Style.
What if? A boy you haven’t seen in two decades winds up sitting on your front porch? Find out what Casey comes up with on A Rainy Night.
What if? You were caught in on icy, drifted, walks and streets when a skidding car comes directly at you? Find out what happened to eighteen-year-old Annie when she is hit from behind in the short story A Tumble in the Snow.
Chris couldn’t hear a thing other than the raging storm. Thunder echoed in her throbbing head. She felt warm breath on her face and in her ear. Someone was checking her out, but she couldn’t hear a voice.
Frustrated with her lack of response, he nudged her back. She groaned, so he stepped back, and waited for her to acknowledge him. She rolled onto her back, once more. Still, Chris had failed to speak to him, so he nudged her shoulder a bit harder. She screamed in pain; her eyes flew open. She had startled him. Backing away, he kept a watchful eye on her,
Chris was challenged to focus on the immediate area; it was very dark. She wondered if night was falling or it was the total lack of sunlight. Someone was out there, but she was unable to see. She figured since she was able to shriek like a banshee, she could try calling out once more. “Who’s There?” No reply. “Mr. Russell? Karen?”
Hesitant footsteps crunched over the rock-strewn ground; a twig snapped under his weight. Chris’s nerves were raw. She could feel his presence, but he kept silent. Suddenly, lightning lit up the darkness to reveal his huge form standing over her; another flash allowed her to see his big brown eyes as he kept his vigil. Her left arm was closest to him, but it hurt like hell and was essentially useless. She spoke to him in a calm voice. “Was that bump to my left shoulder really necessary?” She reached out with her right hand, slowly, so she wouldn’t startle him again.
He responded to her outstretched hand. When Chris made the connection he pulled her to her feet. The pain as he hauled her to a standing position threatened to return her to the void she had so recently escaped. She wrapped her good arm around his neck and leaned against his muscular chest; the move kept her from falling flat on her face. She feared losing consciousness, figuring that if she did she would never wake up. He stood, patiently, waiting to see what she would require of him.
“Well, handsome, let’s see if you and I can locate the others.” Each step was torture, but the fear of the others being in worse shape drove her on. She picked her way toward where she thought the road should be located. Flashlights and headlights lit the mangled remains of their rig.
When they’d started the short, but painful walk back toward the scene of the wreck he’d walked with her, and allowed her to use his body to support herself. Chris felt him hesitate. The odor of burnt tires, spilled diesel, and blood caused then both to momentarily lose sight of their purpose. They resumed the small climb back up to the highway when a huge sphere of lightning struck sending a charge through them both.